Background Kidney failure is a worldwide public health problem, with increasing incidence and prevalence, high costs and poor outcome. Detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease, prior to kidney failure, is therefore of paramount importance. Albuminuria is one of the earlier markers of kidney damage and screening for albuminuria is recommended in high risk patients.
Objective To determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of persistent albuminuria, defined as urine albumin concentration of 20 mg/l and urine sex-specific albumin-to-creatinine ratio of 20 and 30 mg/g for males and females respectively persisting for more than 3 months in hypertensive population.
Methods 72% of 1340 newly diagnosed hypertensive subjects from ongoing community based cohort study who had been screened once for the presence of albuminuria (n=240), were retested for the presence of persistent albuminuria in this study. Albumin concentration (mg/l) and albumin-to-creatinine ratio (mg/gm) were determined in a spot morning urine sample by Nephlometry.
Results Prevalence of persistent abnormal albuminuria 9.3% [7.8%–10.8%]. Mean age 52 (±11.4) years and 58% were males. Factors independently associated were male gender (OR 2.0 (1.24–2.97)), young age with positive family history of KD disease (OR 15.51 (7.35–32.97)). Off the measurable variables high cholesterol levels (p=<0.001), and progressively higher levels of systolic BP (p<0.001) were associated risk factors.
Conclusion Hypertensive kidney damage is already present in a significant number among newly diagnosed hypertensive population suggesting late detection of high blood pressure. Public awareness through education is necessary in developing countries to detect hypertension before target organ damage has occurred.
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